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Snow is causing a little bit of cabin fever

January 15, 2010
Jon Magee

Snow, snow, and more snow, that's about all it seems to have been doing for three straight weeks. If you're like me, cabin fever is starting to set in and I am itching to get in the woods for some grouse hunting or on the stream for a little fishing. But everything is frozen over and the snow too deep for either.

Some more reasonable temperatures are predicted this week, which will open more water for the stock truck and melt some of the snow so the grouse can come out of the trees and feed on the ground where the dogs can hunt them.

However, I must admit I rather enjoy all the snow, I could do without the cold, but the snow is fun. Especially with a six year old begging to go play in the snow every day. From sledding, skiing, snowshoeing, snow angels (front and back, not my idea) and snow fights, if you can do it with snow we have done it. The only problem is that the snow was so light and fluffy we couldn't make a very good snowman, but we tried. These big snows recently reminded me of winter when I was a kid and I was the same way. I could not wait to play in the snow and would stay out until my fingers were numb and my face was red and then hot chocolate with marshmallows when you came in to help thaw out.

Sure, it would be nice to get the dogs out and let the pointer work some birds or do some trout fishing. I usually have a fresh trout dinner or two by now but the Shavers Fork has been frozen almost bank to bank for two weeks. Believe it or not, the hatcheries have been stocking some waters, many lakes and the North Fork of South Branch Potomac have been stocked if you feel the need for some river fishing and maybe a few more streams by the time you read this.

Nice sunny days will bring the squirrels out to feed and socialize on the oak, hickory, and beech flats making for an enjoyable winter hunt. Rabbits will be found around greenbrier on nicer days and are fun to hunt with or without a dog. You may also find a grouse or two hanging out around the greenbrier - I have been seeing them in the trees feeding on grapes, greenbrier berries, and twigs. Tracks in the snow will let you know what is in the area, and you may find some shed antlers from a big buck to hunt next year, anything to beat cabin fever.

All of these would be a great way to beat cabin fever, but I'll take what Mother Nature gives us. If winter keeps giving us all this wonderful snow, I guess I'll just keep playing in the snow with Jade, and warming up with hot chocolate and marshmallows.



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